Innovation That Matters

Top 10 entertainment business ideas in 2006

Publishing & Media

We’re deviating from our regular schedule to bring you the best new business ideas of 2006.
  1. Bands funded by their fans: Aiming to empower independent artists, SellaBand has created a platform that enables fans to sponsor bands, and get a piece of the action in return. How it works: fans, dubbed Believers, find an artist they like on For USD 10, they can buy a share, or ‘Part’. Once the band has sold 5,000 parts, SellaBand arranges a professional recording, including top studios, A&R managers and producers. More »

  2. Urban amusement park: Located in the heart of Boston, 5W!TS (five wits) is both a venue and the producer of an interactive, walk-through adventure game. Think of it as an urban amusement park, with just one ride: a very elaborate, very high-tech haunted house. 5W!TS’ first show is TOMB, a 40-minute adventure set in a realistic rendition of an archaeological dig site in Egypt. Unlike regular attractions, the path and story of the adventure aren’t fixed. More »

  3. Never miss another show: Tourfilter is one of those innovative new business ideas that came about because a smart entrepreneur wanted to solve a personal problem. Founder Chris Marstall kept missing gigs by bands he liked, and needed an easy way to track concert listings. When he couldn’t find anything user-friendly or complete enough, he built his own service. The concept is simple: a user sets up a (free) account, picks his/her own city, and then enters all of the bands he or she would like to see in concert. Twice a day, Tourfilter’s software crawls through live music venue listings for each city. More »

  4. Background music for the web: Here’s an idea that was waiting to happen: Sonific provides ‘soundtracks for your digital life’, allowing users to select tracks from the company’s library (which contains thousands songs by independent artists and from record labels whose music has been licensed for this purpose), and then create their own ‘SongSpots’. Naturally, users can also upload music they’ve created themselves. SongSpots are flash-objects that stream the selected music and that can be quickly pasted onto websites, blogs, social network profile pages, eBay auctions, etc. More »

  5. Haute design cineplex: Located in the south-east ’13ème’ district of Paris, MK2 Bibliothèque is a grand boutique cineplex. A USD 30 million branch of an 11 theatre chain, the MK2 Bibliothèque (so named for its proximity to the François Mitterrand National Library) features 14 screens, as well as cafes, restaurants, DVD shop, classical music boutique, bookstore, modern art gallery and even a DJ bar. It’s a miniature cultural city incased in a long, sleek, glass and steel structure, linking movie-going to other experiences. More »

  6. Retail approach to recording: Taiwanese Timestudio (Hua Shi Dai) offers studio recording sessions for everyone. Located in the busiest pedestrian areas in Taipei, Timestudio’s two mini-recording studios let consumers record a professional cd for around USD 30. The studio features a sound booth and a control room manned by a professional audio engineer. A glass wall facing the street means that the ‘artists’ can be seen by passing shoppers, adding an element of momentary fame. More »

  7. Downloading on the go: A world’s first, British UBC Media just announced a download service that will allow consumers to buy songs while listening to them on digital radio. UBC Media, a radio producer that also develops technology products and services for the broadcasting industry, will begin testing the service on Chrysalis Group’s Heart station, with plans for a full roll-out by December 2006. The digital music download (DMD) service is expected to generate GBP 95 million of turnover by 2012, with a profit of nearly 10 million. These estimates are based on the assumption that in six years 25 percent of mobile More »

  8. Pop-up drive-in movies: Hot on the tail of pop-up retail, comes pop-up entertainment. California-based MobMov is a drive-in movie system built into a car, that pops up at different locations every week. MobMov, which is short for mobile movie, was founded last year by Bryan Kennedy, a 25 year old web developer who wanted to create a guerilla drive-in for his friends. Before long, friends of friends joined in, and MobMov went public, with movie showings announced through mailing lists. More »

  9. Splice: social mixing and remixing: Splice. No it’s not an ice pop or an alcoholic beverage, it’s an online music publishing community that uses Creative Commons licensing to encourage users to share their creations. Splice gives anyone, anywhere the ability to collaborate on music using web-based tools. Users can upload or record sounds, make songs, and listen to and remix other users’ songs. The primary difference between Splice and everything that came before it, is that the mixing tools are built-in. The main tool is a sequencer combined with a ‘sound surfer’ that lets users choose from a library of samples, loops and beats. More »

  10. Prepaid downloads: In Turkey, online music store MuziPlay has forged itself a larger market by selling prepaid music cards. Much like prepaid telephone cards, ‘MuziKarts’ are available from newspaper stands and small shops. After activating a code on the card, customers can download and play mp3s using the company’s proprietary MuziPlayer. Cards are available in denominations of YTL 3, 5 and 10 (EUR 1.50, 2.50, 5.00/USD 1.95, 3.25, 6.50). Sounds like a winner for countries where the growth of broadband internet is outpacing adoption of credit cards. More »